I’m a morning person by nature. I grew up in a household of morning people so I really didn’t have much of a choice in the matter. Mornings offer you something no other time of day can; a fresh start. Once you open your eyes it’s the beginning of a new day full of new possibilities and the chance to do things differently than yesterday. Although I myself am a morning person, most of the people in my friend circle and my co-workers are not. They look at me like I’ve grown a second head when I tell them I wake up at 6 AM by choice. The night owls in my life tell me they could never imagine getting up early and actually enjoying it. I’ll let you in on a secret though, anyone can become a morning person with the right habits. This isn’t to say being a morning person is better than being a night owl, far from actually. I believe we all have a preferred time of day and for me, that’s morning. Unfortunately sometimes our lives don’t line up with how our ideal day would play out which is why I’m sharing with you how I manage my mornings to show you how you can also become a morning person.
Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is probably the number one thing people struggle with on a daily basis. For many years I struggled with insomnia and getting any sleep at all was a victory most nights. The average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep per night. This can be a tricky feat if you’re waiting until late at night to get work done or studying out of the way. I have found the most success when I go to bed early, preferably around 10 PM so that I can wake up at 6 AM the next morning. I know what you’re thinking, that’s way too early to go to bed! It might seem like it at first but once you start getting up early you’ll find you have just as much time in the day as you did when you stayed up late. For anyone who isn’t used to getting to bed early i recommend going to bed a half hour earlier each night until you get yourself to bed at a time that works best for you.
This is a trick I learned from Mel Robbins in her book The 5 Second Rule. From the time your alarm starts going off you have about 5 seconds to act before you’re just not going to get out of bed. Of all the times I’ve hit the snooze button, there’s very few that left me actually feeling well rested compared to when the alarm first went off. If you’re a serial snoozer like I am, the best advice I can give is to get that alarm as far away from your bed as possible. If you have to physically get out of bed to turn your alarm off you’re much more likely to just stay up. For those of you who need your phone near you in cases of emergency or to listen to something to help you sleep, I highly suggest investing in an alarm clock and no longer setting alarms on your phone. You’d be amazed how much time you can waste in day just hitting the snooze button over and over, never actually feeling any more rested. If you’re interested in learning more about Mel’s 5 Second Rule which works with way more than just your alarm, you can find it here.
There’s something about getting dressed that signals to your brain that now it’s time to wake up and get things done. Typically I will lay my clothes out the night before so I don’t have to try and come up with an outfit idea when my brain is still half asleep. This also helps me come up with cute outfits without having to do all the trial and error because I’ve already done that the night before. Even if you don’t plan on going out anywhere, putting on comfy clothes that aren’t pajamas will still do the trick.
You know what they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. After 8 hours of sleep your body is going to be severely dehydrated and hungry. After you get dressed it’s time to give your brain some fuel. You’re not going to get your best work done if you’re running on empty. I like to start with some water while I’m making my breakfast which usually consists of bacon and eggs or oatmeal. Your breakfast doesn’t need to be complicated or Instagram worthy as long as it’s giving your body some nutrients. This way you’ll avoid getting “hangry” before lunch and you’ll be able to focus on the task at hand.
Set up your work space
Now that you’re all fueled up, it’s time to start thinking about doing some work. For me, this is when I grab my computer from the bedroom and set it up in my dining room. This is a place where I know I can sit down and do work without any distractions like TV. There’s lots of light coming through the windows which helps me feel more alert while I work. After I’ve got my computer set up I’ll throw on a playlist that helps me focus and stay motivated. I try for more mellow playlists and ones that play songs I don’t know the words to so I can focus on the task at hand. After my desk and music are set up, this is when I’ll take the time to make a cup of tea or coffee to keep with me while I work. You want to make the experience as enjoyable as possible, after all doing work really isn’t a punishment and you’ll feel amazing once you’ve got a few tasks knocked off your list!
Review your tasks
If you read my other post on productivity you’ll know I’m a firm believer in writing out your to-do list the night before. Ideally in this step you will have the to-do list you made the night before sitting in front of you. This is the time I take to re-assess what I’d like to get done today and the order in which I think it makes most sense to complete the tasks. I suggest getting the most difficult task out of the way first if you can. Once you get the tough job out of the way everything else feels like a walk in the park. This way even if you only manage to get one thing checked off your list you’ll feel a huge sense of relief.
Now it’s time to get to work! I hope this gave you some ideas on how you can use the morning to increase your productivity and have some fun while you’re at it. Remember to take some breaks and celebrate the little victories as you go. How do you stay productive? and are you a morning person or a night owl? let me know in the comments.